That the Chicago Cubs are looking to dump Milton Bradley as their first move of the offseason should be no surprise to anyone. After the troubled, and troubling, outfielder ripped into the team and the fans in September, he was suspended for the remainder of the season. His fate appeared sealed. He was gone.
But what if the Cubs can’t trade him? Would they just release him and eat his remaining contract? Probably not. So that means there’s a chance that Bradley will remain with the Cubs – and General Manager Jim Hendry is leaving open that possibility.
“He’s still with us. He’s on our roster,” Hendry said on Monday. “And that’s how you have to go into the offseason.
“Other people have had some major hiccups along the way and come back, and that’s just how you have to look at it. He’s on your roster until proven differently. That’s how we go about it.”
But wasn’t Bradley’s turn at the end of the year – not to mention several problems throughout the season – particularly bad? How could he possibly come back?
“A lot of people have had worse exits at the end of the year than that and they return,” Hendry explained. “There will be a lot of things that change personnel-wise over the winter, I’m sure, and the goal is to do the best we can to put a good club on the field by Spring Training. Until people aren’t here, as a General Manager, I approach it like they are here.”
That attitude – particularly when espoused publicly – can only help the Cubs. A guy you hate and are desperate to trade = trade rip off city. A guy you can tolerate and will welcome back if you can’t trade = a slightly better trade.